The Galaxy Note 4 Review – Getting Work Done
By Anthony Sabatini
The Galaxy Note series is arguably the first of the 5.7″ screen smartphones and is still the best in this category. Why do people who get the Galaxy Note 4 love it so much? I interviewed a number of users to find out.
George, who works for a major University, for example, says that the large screen makes it much easier to both view and update web pages, which he does often during the day. He also likes the ability to see the entries in a professional calendar where there are many events in a single day. He also points out that the phone sounds better because the microphone is much closer to the mouth than a normal phone. Jolene, a former executive secretary and home-maker, uses hers to be able to see recipes while she is making them, which would be a lot more challenging on a smaller screen. Leslie, an entrepreneur, says she uses her Samsung Galaxy Note 4 all the time to make lists and notes with the phone’s S-pen.
Yes, the Galaxy Note 4 is large, but not obnoxiously so (being a quarter inch wider and half an inch longer than the Galaxy S5). It still fits in most pockets, although if you go to a lot of black tie affairs this phone will not fit in a little clutch, nor have the cell phone pockets in most handbags been updated to this size of phone (as they surely will be, since Apple has also entered this size category).
The phone itself is a very thoughtful design. Little details have been carefully considered. Many phones in this category would tend to slip out of your hands. Not so the Galaxy Note 4. The two long sides of the phone are slightly beveled and concave so that your fingers don’t slip and if they do start to slip, at each end of the side the case protrudes slightly so that your fingers won’t slip through. The back of the phone is both textured to again ensure a good grip and flat to the body of the phone allowing a smaller hand to hold it more easily. Samsung in their normal, user-friendly fashion, allows the battery to be changed or replaced easily and allows a micro SD storage card to be inserted so that you can hold a large number of songs, or pictures, or a large amount of video.
As with all Samsung Galaxy phones, the display is gorgeous. It uses millions of tiny LEDs just as the big displays on Broadway to create the image. This means that the contrast between colors and black, is spectacular (contrast is hundreds of times better than most other displays). The resolution is better than full HD (1080p for full HD vs. 1440p for the Galaxy Note 4). The display is seamless, far above the resolution power of the eye (300 pixels per inch vs the Galaxy Note 4 at 515 pixels per inch). The screen is protected by the latest from Corning, Gorilla Glass 4.
Samsung is the largest producer of smartphone cameras in the world. Despite this, Samsung has chosen a Sony camera for this smartphone because, quite honestly, because of their work in the broadcast television industry, Sony has deeper experience in this type of camera than anyone else. The rear camera is 16 megapixels with optical image stablization and auto focus, making it on par with many sophisticated point and shoot cameras. The camera also shoots video at full 1080p full HD. The front facing camera is a large 3.7 megapixel (which is impressive for a front facing phone camera) and is equivalent to 1440p. There is even a wide angle selfie” mode, sure to be popular with plenty of people.
The feature for which the Galaxy Note series is known, is the S-pen, and the ability to write on the display. The pen has a secure home on the bottom right of the screen. It is very useful to be able to hand write lists, and notes, and text. Its ability to read even bad handwriting occasionally borders on the mystical, it being able to make out words I couldn’t read in handwriting because it also had the pressure information from the pen on the screen to assist it.
For the test of the Galaxy Note 4, I used Sprint, a carrier I haven’t tried previously. Frankly, I was impressed. Their LTE service delivers excellent data and voice at a receive level where most other carriers would not be useable. For example; with only one bar showing out of six, I was able to update the android software (600 megabytes plus), in less than 20 minutes. Another nice feature of the installed Sprint software is a visual voicemail which actually shows you how many calls you have in voicemail on the icon, a feature that I wish all carriers had.
To sum it up: The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is an incredibly useful tool. If you are just looking to make phone calls, it might not be your best choice, but if you are a working person or someone who uses your phone a lot on the go, or as a mobile office, if you take a lot of pictures with your phone, if you work with websites, if you use programs, if you need the ability to make lists, or take notes, than this is far and away the best phone choice. It is certainly one of the best engineered phones in current distribution. As to the carrier, Sprint worked well with this phone in New York City (the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comes in Charcoal Black and Frost White on Sprint plans). Check Sprint.com for plans and rates. Visit the Samsung Web Site for more information on the Samsung Galaxy note 4